You can win a signed copy of my book!

Household CleaningToday I’m writing with a slightly different twist.

Zero Waste Week this year is all about reducing food waste and I wonder if you’ve thought about using food to clean your home?
Vinegar, lemons, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and olive oil will all keep your home fresh and clean!

Here are a few recipes to help you clean your home the eco friendly way:

Bath tub

Sprinkle some baking soda onto a damp sponge and scrub away. Baking soda will remove deposits, and after rinsing well with warm water, you’ll be rewarded with a sparkling, clean tub. It is the ideal daily maintenance for your bathtub. Finish with a 50/50 mix of cold water and white vinegar spray to clear any powdery residue and prevent limescale if you live in a hard water area.

Simple fabric softener

Instead of fabric softener in the washing machine, add a cup (225mls) of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar helps to remove soap and detergent residue, and prevents static cling in the dryer.

Sanitising chopping boards

Use salt like a scouring powder to remove odours, clean and disinfect your boards. You can even pour some salt over the cut end of a lemon to make your very own scouring β€˜sponge’! Allow the salt to remain in contact with the board for around 10 minutes before rinsing off with very hot water. This solution will remove odours such as garlic, lemon or fish. Be aware that regular salting can dry out wooden boards, so you may need to re-oil them more regularly.


Damp dusting with a cloth soaked in strong black tea is an excellent way to keep on top of the dust mite. Or why not try my olive oil and white vinegar wood ‘food’. Combine 3 parts olive oil with 1 part white vinegar in a bottle and shake to mix. This will create a nourishing product that wood will drink up. Apply this mixture onto wooden furniture with a cloth, rub in and then buff with a dry cloth.

All these recipes are taken from my book “Self Sufficiency – Household Cleaning” which was written in response to the ever-increasing demand from consumers for safe cleaning products and has been translated into French and Italian. Yes, you might need a little extra elbow grease, but you’ll save money, use less chemicals and by making your own products can become more zero waste too. It’s perfect if you or any of your family members suffer from allergies to conventional cleaning products.

Win signed copies of my book

To celebrate Zero Waste Week I’m giving away 6 signed copies of my book. You can enter from anywhere in the world – I’ll ship it to you, personally, from me to you. Yay! If you’re a lucky winner I’ll email you to ask you what you want me to write in it and it will be winging its way to you, promto. From then on, you’ll be able to clean your home without harsh chemicals, save a tonne of money AND reduce waste – what’s not to love?

It’s simple to enter via rafflecopter below. I’ll pick 6 names at random in a week’s time. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rachelle Strauss


  1. julie kenny on September 3, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I always cook too much so we have lots of left overs – I`ve started to reuse these for lunches at work rather than throw them away

  2. Gina Caro on September 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    My top tip for reducing waste would be to look at the things you throw away on a regular basis and research whether you can buy reusable alternatives.

  3. Donna on September 3, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Never shop without planning a menu and having a shopping list or just google what’s left in the fridge/cupboard for recipe

  4. Suella Postles on September 5, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Lunches are a snap with Planned overs. I try to always make too much for dinner so there is something to have for lunch the next day. Sometimes I might cook twice the amount of pasta so I can have it hot one night and cold in a salad the next.
    Leicestershire finds that 40% of their bin is general food waste. That is costly for both rate payers and the environment.

  5. Kathleen Bywaters on September 5, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Only buy what you need. Buying things on impulse that you never use just end up piling up in your house.

  6. Heather Haigh on September 5, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Serve modest portions so what’s left in the pot can be frozen for another day – you can always get another helping if you’re still hungry. Check what you have in before you shop.

  7. Maria McKenzie on September 5, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I like your tip for using up salad leaves in soup. If you haven’t any Boursin cheese or similar, or if you avoid dairy products, you can get a similar creamy texture by blending at the end with some cooked white beans (haricot, cannellini or butter beans), roughly half a tin or a few tablespoons per litre. You need something from the onion family in there as well – a chopped leek cooked along with the greens goes particularly well.

  8. Tracy Nixon on September 5, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Choose to have your bills and bank statements sent to you online, instead of by mail.

  9. Rachel H on September 5, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I plan what I am going to cook and eat before each shop so I very rarely waste food.

  10. Janet Patterson on September 5, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Buy fresh. Shop often. At first it seems contradictory, too expensive, but after a while I find I’m wasting less, eating better, cooking more efficiently, and eventually spending less at the shop.

  11. ADEINNE TONNER on September 5, 2016 at 10:27 am

    If you need it buy it and try to recycle as many products as you can.

  12. Janet Howell on September 5, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I welcome any tips/advice on cutting down on household waste and also to look at alternative cleaners for use in my home without using shop bought products.

  13. charlotte on September 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

    my top tip is to love your freezer, you can freeze close to best before date food and cooked food to make them last longer

  14. Simon tutthill on September 5, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Cut down on the amount of food you buy every week,

  15. Sarah R on September 5, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Meal planning in advance. Then you buy what you need, and no extra.

  16. Hayley Atkins on September 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    We recycle/upcycle as much as we can. We grow our own veg and compost all veg/garden matter. We make sure that any food/household items we buy ,have minimal packaging.

  17. Robyn Clarke on September 5, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Make gradual changes, its much easier to adjust slowly than try and do everything at once at fail.

  18. Emily Middleton on September 5, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Don’t shop hungry! Always end up buying more than you really need…

  19. Chris on September 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Open the fridge take out what needs using up and plan your meal around what you have just put on the work top.

  20. Paul Halling on September 5, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Consider what you buy and what it comes packaged in more carefully

  21. Clare B on September 5, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Use washable reusable cloths in place of tissues and kitchen roll.

  22. Tracy Newton on September 6, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Register with the mailing preference service, put a no junk mail sign on your letterbox and try and pay bills online. Then it reduces paper waste.

  23. Patricia Avery on September 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

    If possible grow your own fruit and veg so you only pick what you need and then preserve for the autumn/winter ahead (jams, jellies, freeze etc) Much fresher and tastier than shop bought and no wasteful packaging either πŸ™‚

  24. Jo Carroll on September 6, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Always try to recycle as much as you can and remember one man’s rubbish can be another man’s treasure so put things you don’t need that are still useful to others on a free ‘recycle’ website instead of throwing it in the bin.

  25. Karen Barrett on September 6, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I buy all my fruit and veg from the market. I take my old domestic science basket (46 years old!) and ask the stall holder to put my produce directly into my basket… no packaging required.

  26. Shona C on September 6, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I have recently started using a shampoo bar to reduce the amount of packing being wasted. It’s been a hard adjustment for my hair but sticking with it! Might try a different brand/bar! Will probably move onto a conditioning bar as well and I already use ordinary soap bars instead of packaged shower gels!

  27. sharon stanley on September 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    recycling and ensuring that when make meals serve a smaller amount and let the kids go back for more rather than doing a bigger amount and they waste it. I also have a dog, which helps. Now the shops are doing more refill packages that also makes it easier.

  28. Laura Harrison on September 6, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Cut down on food wastage xxx

  29. Barbara Handley on September 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Use Real Nappies instead of disposable ones.

  30. Maite on September 7, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Look at YouTube for tutorials on how to fix things instead of throwing them away. For food waste, I tend to do loads of salads and pies with the rests of baby/adult food. It tastes good actually!! πŸ™‚

  31. prerna gupta on September 7, 2016 at 9:28 am

    keep checking your fridge for the food items lurking behind! and plan your menu accordingly!

  32. Ceri Osbourn on September 7, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Plan your meals, so you only buy what you need. We have meals written on the back of playing cards which are picked randomly each week. Keep a bag in freezer to put odd bits and ends of veg in to make stock out of.

  33. Nique on September 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    I eat any leftovers from tea for my lunch the next day. Saves loads on buying lunch and reduces what goes in my bin.

  34. Jeanette Davenport on September 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Always take a shopping list with you, and if you buy to much food make sure you can freeze it or don”t buy it is my moto x

  35. Rich Tyler on September 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Plan meals in to use up left-overs next night πŸ™‚

  36. Solange on September 7, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Bring reusable bags and containers when shopping, travelling, or packing lunches or leftovers.

  37. Vicky Myers on September 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Menu planning, and making the most of leftovers. With concerted effort for zero waste week my food bill has been halved (it wont be next week as their will be nothing in the fridge to use!!!)

  38. Kerry Locke on September 8, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    The Freezer is your friend

  39. Michelle Sykes on September 8, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Plan meals when you do the shopping to save waste. I have chickens and a dog so between them we have no ‘leftovers’

  40. Sue Denim on September 8, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    My Zero Waste tip – give up teabags! Buy loose tea, and – even better packaging wise – make herbal infusions from garden & wild plants – no packaging at all and the leaves compost down afterwards. Teabags have SO much packaging involved, especially herbal ones – each bag is often held together with a bit of string, staple, square of card, then individually wrapped in paper, inside a cardboard box, inside plastic wrapping! Crazy! I stopped using teabags for myself a year ago and I love the zero waste aspect plus the tea is tastier and fresher.

  41. Sarah Malik on September 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Arrange your fridge so that perishable stuff is at eye level, rather than forgotten at the bottom or back!

  42. Lynn Wakefield on September 8, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I enjoy having a weekly baking session to make pies and pizza for the week’s lunch boxes.
    I also like thinking back and am amazed that it was just this time last year we were introduced to the idea of Zero Waste…. thanks for your inspiration!

  43. Sarah Parker on September 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    recycle πŸ™‚

  44. Sarah Ann on September 8, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    I plan all my meals in advance which helps to reduce waste. Prepare and freeze them all – perfect!

  45. Trina B on September 9, 2016 at 6:25 am

    I think for me, the easiest way to reduce waste is to slow down and be intentional and mindful. It’s just so easy to operate on autopilot. Until these new habits form and become second nature – I need to think for myself! Look for alternatives! Consider purchases! Don’t succumb to marketing! Prioritise my values!

  46. paola on September 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

    buy what you need and be organized… always think when you buy how and when will it be used. think how you are going to dispose packaging… better without packaging… I am making a huge effort here, I am very disorganized, but am working hard to making better

  47. paula cheadle on September 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

    don’t buy it on a whim, only buy what you need, if it’s food, do a menu so you only buy what you need

  48. georgina ackroyd on September 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    My top tip for reducing waste would be to always recycle everything x

  49. Tori on September 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    It’s a simple start, but I managed to reduce most of my waste when I bought loose veg at the supermarket. Loose in the basket, loose on the conveyor belt and then into my bag!

  50. Jenny Prest on September 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I freezer any fruit that is starting to go squishy, past its best and use to make smoothies.

  51. Cerys John on September 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Planning in advance is essential and definitely stops wastage!

  52. Sabrina D'Arcu on September 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    For us, it’s definitely been to shop in bulk and take reusable bags and containers. Food packaging was by far the largest part of what was in our trash can/recycling bin.

  53. Pauline Burroughs on September 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    When you think you’ve used up all the shampoo or toothpaste cut the container open. You’ll be amazed at how much is still in there and would have been thrown away.

  54. Julie Camm on September 9, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Recycle as much as you can

  55. Oksana Fitzgerald on September 9, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Buy frozen food and freeze leftovers

  56. Iva Williams on September 9, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I made our own dish cloths and cloth napkins. Using cloth produce bags for shopping. Buying from bulk food stores means no package waste. And I’m making a lot of my own cosmetics and cleaning products.
    Not food related but a big waste reduction in our household with a baby is using cloth nappies and wipes!

  57. jackie beckett on September 9, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Never use the washing machine unless you have a full to run it for a couple of items wastes water and electric and causes pollution by using detergents that aren`t needed

  58. Diana on September 9, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Recycling as much as possible πŸ™‚

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